House to vote on bill requiring EPA to share scientific basis for regulations

EPA

The House will vote on legislation preventing the Environmental Protection Agency from issuing regulations, unless all scientific data to support implementation is publicly available. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif. did not specify when the House would vote, saying only that it would be “soon.” The House will return to Washington on Nov. 12. Read more at The Hill

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle stolen in southeast Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Brent Mast, Dist. 22 in southeast Texas, reports 8 head of cattle stolen from a property in Leon County.  Stolen some time between Oct. 16 and 30 were 3 black cows, 1 red cow, 3 black bull calves and 1 black heifer calf. The calves weighed approximately 550 to 750 pounds, each. None of the cattle were branded or have earmarks. If you have any information regarding this theft, please call Special Ranger Mast at 936-851-0122.

As Texas grows, will highways meet demand?

Texas State Capitol photo by TexasExplorer98 at flickr

In Tuesday (Nov. 4), Texas voters will be asked to redirect some state oil and gas production tax revenue destined for the state’s Rainy Day Fund to instead pay for roadways. This proposed constitutional amendment is just the latest in a series of mechanisms Texas has used to finance transportation. Read the latest issue of Fiscal Notes from the Texas comptroller’s office to find out more on road congestion, road-building costs and funding gaps. Read more…

Emergency assistance program covers transport of water in drought, fever tick treatment

Farm Service Agency

The Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program (ELAP) provides payments to eligible producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish to help to compensate for losses due to disease (including cattle tick fever), adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires, as determined by the secretary of agriculture.  ELAP provides assistance for livestock grazing, feed, and death losses; honeybee feed, colony, and hive losses; and fish feed and death losses. ELAP also covers losses related to expenses incurred to gather cattle for cattle tick fever treatment and, beginning in 2014, for losses related to the cost of transporting water due to an eligible drought. Read more…

Legislators consider ways to stop feral hogs

Feral Swine are not native to the U.S. They are the result of recent and historical (1500's Spanish explorers) releases of domestic swine and Eurasian boar. USDA APHIS photo Laurie Paulik.

In recent years, the Texas Legislature has passed or tried to pass legislation aimed at reducing the rapidly growing feral hog population in the state. But so far little has worked. It looks like the legislature will try something new when it is back in session in mid-January. Two Texas House committees met last Friday to look into what more can be done to reduce the wild pig population in the state because the estimated 2.6 million animals — the largest feral hog population in the nation — cause millions of dollars in property damage, especially to farmers and ranchers. Read more at Amarillo.com

It’s what’s for dinner: Autumn harvest braised brisket

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Now that the weather’s turning cooler, try this brisket with a fall flair. Read more at beefitswhatsfordinner.com…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle stolen in southwest Central Texas

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TSCRA Special Ranger Max Hartmann, Dist. 26 in south Central Texas, reports the theft of 14 head of cattle from a ranch in Menard and Mason counties. Some time after Oct. 6, a thief or thieves cut the chain on a fence to steal 8 Angus Plus cows 5 black calves and 1 Hereford bull. The cows are branded with an “I -” (I bar) on the left side, steer calves have an under bit left ear, heifer calves an under bit right ear, and the Hereford bull is branded SR on the left hip. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Hartmann at 830-669-2429.

CDC shares data on E. Coli and Salmonella in beef

Photo courtesy USDA.gov

A widely held belief among food safety experts is that the U.S. beef industry has made enormous strides in the past two decades to reduce outbreaks and recalls associated with beef. One of the many measures initiated by industry to help reduce illness associated with beef has been the Beef Safety Conference, held each year by the North American Meat Association. The conference included a presentation on beef-related illness data by L. Hannah Gould, Ph.D., leader of the National Outbreak Reporting System Team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read more at Food Safety News…

Corn prices expected to edge up, could pressure fed cattle bids in 2015

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Recent lower prices in corn could translate into fewer planted acres in 2015, potentially putting pressure on bids for beef cattle next year, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service economist. However, Dr. Mark Welch, AgriLife Extension grains marketing economist in College Station, told attendees at the recent Brazos Valley Beef and Forage Expo that a lot of things would have to come into play for this situation to develop.  Read more…

Texas crop, weather, for Oct. 29, 2014

AgriLife Extension photo

Though the sugarcane aphid is manageable, it’s likely here to stay in South Texas and the rest of the state. The aphid became a pest of sorghum for the first time in South Texas in 2013. The same year, outbreaks occurred in South and East Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Missouri. Today, the pest has been reported damaging sorghum and other crops in 11 southern states and several states in Mexico.  Read more…

How to avoid common deer hunting violations

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The general deer season opens Nov. 1 and ends Jan. 4 (North Zone) and Jan.18 (South Zone). Each hunter is responsible for knowing the specific regulations for the county in which he or she is hunting. Bag limits for white-tailed deer vary by county, and some counties have antler restrictions in place. Do you know the most common deer hinting violation? Hint: It has nothing to do with antlers. Read more…

Pacific trade talks progress but gap remains between US, Japan

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Negotiations for an ambitious trade pact among Pacific countries made significant progress over the weekend but there is still a gap between Japan and the United States over market access and other hurdles, trade representatives said on Monday. An agreement between Tokyo and Washington is crucial to securing the broader pact as other partners are reluctant to commit until they see how those two resolve their differences, particularly over access to each other’s markets in sectors such as agriculture and automobiles. Read more at Reuters

COOL appeal likely in 2015

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Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told DTN Progressive Farmer on Monday that the Obama administration likely won’t appeal the World Trade Organization ruling against U.S. meat labeling until sometime in January. Read more at DTN Progressive Farmer…

October is HOG OUT month

Feral Swine are not native to the U.S. They are the result of recent and historical (1500's Spanish explorers) releases of domestic swine and Eurasian boar. USDA APHIS photo Laurie Paulik.

In an ongoing effort to protect Texans from the costly destruction caused by feral hogs, the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) announced that October is Hog Out Month. This is the month each year TDA highlights the serious problems feral hogs pose to our state. Hog Out Month comes in the middle of TDA’s 2014 Coordinated Hog Out Management Program (CHOMP) that runs from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30. TDA has been working with counties across the Lone Star State to make a concentrated and coordinated effort to decrease the feral hog population during this three-month period and in turn, help mitigate millions of dollars in damage caused by these animals. Read more…

HSUS launches hotline for reporting cruelty, neglect of farm animals

Photo Courtesy of Oklahoma State University

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has launched a hotline that offers a reward for whistleblowers who report cruelty and neglect on factory farms, at livestock auctions, and in slaughter houses. The organization is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those who have committed acts of cruelty to farm animals. Read more at Food Safety News…

TDA Market Recap, Oct. 27, 2014

Texas Department of Agriculture

For the week ending Oct. 25, 2014, feeder cattle prices quoted by Texas auctions were uneven, with some $5 lower per hundredweight (cwt) and others up to $8 higher. Texas direct feeder cattle sales were weak to $4 lower early in the week and mostly steady to $5 higher later in the week. Fed cattle cash sales were up $6 to a record-high of $170 per cwt. Very tight cattle supplies continue to support markets. Wholesale beef values were lower. Beef export sales for the week were down five percent from the previous week and 34 percent lower than the prior four-week average. Export shipments were up two percent from a week earlier and five percent higher than the average. Read more…

TSCRA Crime Watch: Cattle missing in Osage County, Okla.

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TSCRA Special Ranger Bart Perrier, Dist. 4 in northwest Oklahoma, reports 7 head of cattle missing from a property near Fairfax in Osage County. The 3 black and 4 black baldy cows went missing some time between Oct 17 and 24, and have blue ear tags in their left ear and the 4B brand on their left hip. If you have any information regarding these cattle, please call Special Ranger Perrier at 918-275-4257.

Ranch gatherings held in Ozona, Floresville and Fort Stockton

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More than 300 association members, friends and guests attended ranching events in Buffalo, Fort Stockton, Ozona and Floresville last week. At each gathering, guests heard from TSCRA special rangers on local law enforcement activities and theft prevention. TSCRA staff updated attendees on legislative and regulatory issues and the upcoming Texas legislative session. The Buffalo event was held at Buffalo Livestock Marketing, Inc. Special thanks go to our host and TSCRA Director Curtis Younts. Attendees in Fort Stockton and Ozona welcomed rain on both of those events. Thanks go to Special Rangers Mike Barr and Kenny Wadsworth for their work. The event in Floresville was hosted by Bill Carr and Hilltop Ranch. Attendees enjoyed great educational programs in the afternoon, quality Beefmaster cattle were available for Read more…

TxDOT ends program that converts paved roads to gravel

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The Texas Department of Transportation has ended its controversial program aimed at converting some badly damaged paved roads to gravel, more than a year after the launch of the initiative drew national attention to the agency’s budget troubles. Read more at The Texas Tribune

Texas A&M Forest Service urges caution to prevent spread of oak wilt disease

Picture courtesy Texas A&M Forest Service

Firewood is an important commodity to Texans, whether it is used for firing up the barbecue pit or for warming up on a chilly winter morning. And with cooler temperatures arriving, now is the time to pay close attention to the firewood you are picking up and storing for use in winter. Transporting and storing diseased wood can actually spread the devastating oak wilt fungus. By selecting well-seasoned, disease-free firewood and by following other disease prevention guidelines, homeowners can take the following steps to prevent a new oak wilt disease outbreak in their neighborhood. Read more…